Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Personal / Stories / Themes / Racial /
Honeymoon Memories (and associations) from 1965, Feb, March
Just [early 2000s] watching the DVD of Mississippi Burning I paused to scribble an email to my son:
pk, perverse … goes together, always has In grade school suddenly two little black girls appeared, identical twins, cotton dresses, bright colors, contrast, stripes, corn row part, tight pigtails, cheap pink plastic barets …
I don’t think I’d ever seen a black kid in my life. Then, by magic … The students, the teacher … everyone knew something was odd: including pk. Except I was fascinated. I couldn’t get enough of them. They were different. Information exuding from them. The one girl pressed on her pencil till her finger end digit bent backwards. She didn’t arch the curve, she pressed against the joint. I was FASCINATED. Then, they disappeared. Vanished. No trace, no explanation. I wouldn’t see another black kid in school till senior high: then, just one oversized retard: they were grooming as a singer.
I was a freshman in college, working as a garbage man, before I discovered that RVC had a ghetto. So that’s where they were hiding them. They had kids … how were the kids kept out of school? It was all done invisibly. There was just that one snafu where the twins showed up for a few days. 40s, 50s, 60s … as much The Matrix as any other time. “They” were kept in a box; we were kept in a box: only our box was bigger, and much nicer. And WE KNEW to say nothing when the seams showed.
And now I’m watching Mississippi Burning. Maybe I have seen it before, I’m not sure. But I sure do recognize that pk is being perverse again, still. Why shouldn’t these people do whatever it takes to try to protect their advantages? They’d used slaves. They hadn’t invented it. Then the slaves were wrenched from them. No one made the slaves equal. No one swept away the bodies. So they improvised ways to emphasize who had privilege, who didn’t. Separate water fountains. the one refrigerated, the other primitive. Elegant. cheap. simple. Sure you ride around with shotguns, intimidate people. Murder a few on occasion? Hey, has anyone ever really argued that murder was wrong? !?
If there’s not enough to go around, why share? If there’s not enough to go around, why not cheat?
movie opens with the 2 fountains. nuff said. then there’s a road, foreshortened hills, up and down, telephotoed, car not getting anywhere, slowly. whose idea was the roads? foreigners coming around, no border checks, telling people what to think, how to behave.
I don’t know what your mother has told you of our marriage. I know I’ve told you little to nothing. Did you know that our honeymoon got cancelled? Hilary “sick”? Sick in the head. Instead of annulling we went on a bit. She got to feeling better. Then she wanted a honeymoon after all. Couldn’t I forget classes and just drive to Florida for a week? We did.
And when we got to Virginia, I, thinking we were south, wanted some “southern fried chicken.” We stopped in this place and Lyndon Johnson was on the tube. Man, was the mood in that Virginia restaurant, 1965, ugly. I remember clearly the mutterings, hissed at us too. A white man, telling white men, how to behave, toward n-words (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 31).
We picked up a hitchhiker in Carolina, hoping for local color from a short favor. Kid stank, kid turned out to be running away from an apartment on Cathedral Parkway, our own neighborhood in NY, turned out he wanted to go to Miami. How could we get rid of him? But once the cop cars were picking us up on one side of the town and pealing away as the next town’s cop car picked us up … we wouldn’t let him out of the car for anything. stopped for gas, got bumped into by fat bellies, owner wouldn’t budge his bulk out of the doorway to let us in to buy soda.
in other words, that opening Mississippi Burning scene, I’ve been there.
We drove that kid all the way to St Augustine, decided that was as far as we were going, that’s how we finally got rid of him.
Meeting the twins in grade school had already been told. Today I said “red”, then I said “pink”: today i said “plastic”, then I said “ribbon” … Anyone can see — it’s the same story.
recreated for K. 2015 06 30
Plenty of No Opportunity
We’d naively thought we’d go to Miami. Our hitchhiker hoped we’d take him to Miami. But de facto, St Augustine became our honeymoon destination: get the stinking hitcher out of our car, out of our life. We soon discovered that the weather which we believed pleasant and warm was to the natives a frigid spell, for which they apologized. But Hilary got into her binki and froliked on the beach. I’ll try to get my scanner reworking and scan the pic: Hilary, for the moment actually looked happy, and I think she was. Startled natives on the boardwalk wearing overcoats, asked where were we from?
Purely by coincidence we arrived in Florida during a race relations boycot: don’t go to Florida, don’t spend money in racist Florida. We didn’t get the message. Now were were being welcomed and celebrated like a couple of scabs, strike breakers.
We needed money. We needed to cash a check. It had never occured to us that we should have stowed extra cash, brought travelers checks. But with what? We never had any money. I never budgeted anything. We got lucky, as I expected us to, but it was an adventure. A banker agreed to cash our check, with three forms of identification. He urged us to spend it, or at least part of it, right there in St. Augustine. Wonderful place, he told us. I certainly agreed on some details: we were anamored of the Spanish architecture: sunshine makes all the difference: if you’re not in bright sun you’re not seeing Spanish architecture.
Anyway the guy further apologized for boycotted St. Augustine’s emptiness. He tried to explain: What the liberals, what the blacks don’t understand, is there are simply no “opportunities” for them. There’s no work, no jobs, no new businesses.
I really wanted to spit on his desk, tell him about our trek through Georgia with the fragrant guy. But we needed that check cashed! We got that check cashed! Now we needed to get the hell out of there before he took the cash back! (I’m reminded of Woody Allen’s story of Hiltler’s barber: he says that he cut Hitler’s hair not knowing he was such a monster. He’d thought Hitler worked for the phone company. By the time he found out Hitler”s barber explains it was already too late: “I’d already made a downpayment on some furniture”!!!)
Complicity in the kleptocracy damns us all.
So: we’re on our way, got the loot, and the smiling banker calls after us: You come back, ya hear. You think of moving here, setting up: wonderful place: plenty of opportunity …
Just not for the guy we’d finally squeezed out of the car.
Did anyone in the bank apart from Hilary and me recognize the irony cover we were buried in? The banker was calling aloud to us. Others were present, surely they’d also hear his explanations about “no opportunity”.
2017 01 09 Hilary and I were on a delayed honeymoon, it was pure accident that we’d picked the hitchhiker we did, pure accident that we cut ourselves loose from him in St. Augustine, utter accident that St. Augustine turned out to be a place publicly ID’d as racist, targeted for protest. That was mid-60s. Twenty years later, mid-1980 I had another such “accident”: I camped at my cousin’s daughter’s horse ranch in Cumming GA. I’d never heard of it: I had no idea of the lynchings, the public persecutions of 1912. I just needed a place to lay my homeless head.
Yesterday I finished watching a few episodes of All in the Family Archie Bunker made some joke about Cumming GA. I didn’t fully catch it though.
Remembering Cumming reminds me of a racist joke in Joyce’s Ulysses: Cumming purged blacks from residence, after 1912 they had No Blacks! The Irishman in Dublin jokes that Ireland had No Jewish Problem! Because: “We never let them in!”
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